It is almost always assumed that a husband and wife are the child’s biological parents when two people who are married have a child together. The same presumption is not applied to unmarried couples who have a child together.
To prevent future disagreements, it is crucial for unmarried couples to verify paternity as soon as possible.
How Paternity Is Proven
There are a few different techniques to prove paternity. Whether or not everyone involved can agree on who the father is will determine the procedure utilized to prove paternity.
Acknowledgement of Paternity Voluntarily:
If a baby is born to parents who are unmarried and both are in agreement about who the father is, paternity can be confirmed by a voluntary recognition of paternity form. The document must be signed by both the mother and the alleged father.
By doing so, they certify under oath through a paternity lawyer that the man is the child’s legal father. When a father submits this form, he consents to all of the legal obligations that go along with being a parent.
He can become the child’s paternal figure, influence how the child is brought up, and take on the financial responsibilities for the child. After being signed, the document has 60 days before it becomes enforceable. It can only be annulled if it is discovered that the form was signed under coercion.
Genetic testing can be used to identify the biological father in cases where a baby is delivered to an unmarried couple and no one is aware of who the father is. This service is offered because it enables people to decide who should be in charge of paying child support.
DNA samples must be provided by all parties, that is, mother, child, and potential father. The samples are subsequently delivered to a lab for analysis. If the DNA test comes back positive, the birth certificate will now include the father’s name, making him the child’s legal guardian.
This method of establishing paternity enables single mothers to get child support. However, if the father ultimately decides that he wants parenting time, he will need to file a legal lawsuit.
When a woman who is married gives birth, her husband is presumed to be the child’s father by default. He will have his name added to the birth certificate by the hospital, making him the child’s legal guardian from the moment of birth. This also holds true for couples who weren’t married at the time of conception.
Some Benefits for Both Parents
Finding out who the legal father is will be advantageous to all parties concerned.
- One advantage for the father is that if he wasn’t involved in the child’s life before the paternity test, he can now do so. He may potentially ask for a revised child custody ruling.
- The fact that the mother is no longer the child’s only provider is one advantage for her. She has the option of dual custody, which means she will get some alone time.
- By proving paternity, one parent has the right to ask the other for child support.
- It grants you a legal right to contact with your kids, can facilitate future custody and support arrangements with the kids’ other parent, and can help you avoid going to court.
- You can go places with your kid thanks to it.
- It enables you to give your child your last name.
- It grants you legal powers to stop the other parent from moving if you are concerned that they might take your child out of state without your consent. It will also help you get your child back if they have already left the state..
Benefits for the Child
- The child benefits by having the chance to develop a bond with both their biological father and his family.
- Access is also available to the father’s medical background and benefits, including, if appropriate, Social Security, health insurance, inheritances, life insurance, and military compensation.
Why Do I Need to Prove Paternity?
The benefits of proving paternity are numerous. The child, mother, and father are all winners in this situation.
The following are some of the primary justifications for establishing paternity:
- Vital medical background:
A child can see their father’s medical records once paternity has been confirmed and they are aware of who their biological father is. Because of the opportunity this presents to learn more about their own health, this is advantageous. They can find out if they are more likely to contract a particular ailment, which could be useful in an emergency.
- Financial advantages:
Veterans’ and disabled people’s children are eligible for government assistance; other children are not. Only once paternity is confirmed may a person learn this knowledge about their father’s side.
Additionally, a child may be qualified to join their father’s health insurance program. Establishing paternity over a child will generally result in better financial support for that child.
- Giving them a name:
When a child is aware of who both of their parents are, their growth can be substantially aided. Knowing their father’s identity can help children develop a sense of identity and offer them information about their family history and heritage.
- Giving fathers a voice:
If a father is not the kid’s legal guardian, he may not have a say in how their child is raised. Fathers who prove paternity are able to participate in decisions about their child’s religion, education, and health care.
- Establishing a connection:
Fathers have the chance to develop a relationship with their kid by proving paternity. The growth of children benefits greatly from having father figures.
Is There a Drawback to Proving Paternity?
Having legal custody of a child may not sound appealing to some individuals. They might not want to split parenting time with the mother. They should understand what would be expected of them if their paternity tests are positive.
- Joint custody may result from paternity:
Depending on the specifics of a given scenario, this may be viewed as either positive or negative. Once paternity is confirmed, a new custody plan may be devised.
- Child maintenance is due upon paternity:
Once paternity is confirmed, fathers are liable for child support. This implies that, unless they are the custodial parent, they must provide the mother a set sum of money each week. A crime is committed when child support payments are not made. Additional costs, a suspended driver’s license, and other penalties are possible outcomes.
- Possibile legal problems:
Once paternity is confirmed, the father is in charge until the child reaches adulthood. This implies that they might need to request a court order before leaving the state. It might also be necessary to go through a drawn-out and challenging legal process if the mother wishes to assign custody to a more involved father figure.